From These Roots

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From These Roots
From These Roots.JPG
Scene from the show. From left: Ann Flood, Robert Mandan and Sarah Hardy, 1961
Genre Soap opera
Created by John Pickard
Frank Provo
Starring Millette Alexander
Vera Allen
Barbara Berjer
Julie Bovasso
Susan Brown
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run 30 June 1958 – 29 December 1961

From These Roots is an American soap opera which ran from June 30, 1958 to December 29, 1961. It was created and written by Frank Provo and John Pickard. The show was seen on NBC, and was the first successful soap opera vehicle for Ann Flood who later became well known for, and spend the better part of two decades as, Nancy Karr on The Edge of Night.

Storyline[edit]

Ms. Flood starred as Elizabeth "Liz" Fraser Allen, a successful writer who had returned to her New England hometown of Strathfield to run her family's newspaper, the Strathfield Record. Her father, Ben Fraser, Sr. had suffered a heart attack, thus causing Liz, who had been living and working in Washington, D.C. to come home, leaving her D.C. fiance, Bruce Crawford. Another former beau, from her earlier days in Strathfield, Dr. Buck Weaver, eventually married his secretary, Maggie Barker.

Her family included a brother Ben, Jr. who worked a family farm, was married to Italian Rose Corelli; had three children, including a son, named Dan, and didn't have much to do with the newspaper; and a sister Emily, who was married to Jim Benson and, after Jim's death, to Frank Teton. Jim and Emily had a daughter, named Lyddy, who worked with her aunt Liz on the newspaper.

Liz's first adversary was wealthy Enid Chambers, who was the first wife of the man she would eventually marry, David Allen. Her later adversary was alcoholic actress, Lynn Franklin, who, despite her own marriage to Tom Jennings, was very much in love with David and wanted him for herself.

Famous actors[edit]

Several actors featured on From These Roots found fame in later shows. These include Henderson Forsythe (Jim Benson), who went on to fame as Dr. David Stewart on As the World Turns; Charlotte Rae (Hilda Furman), who played Molly the Mail Lady on Sesame Street during the show's third season; and then played her more well-known role of Edna Garrett on Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life; Vera Allen (Kass), later known as Grandma Matthews on Another World; Billie Lou Watt (Maggie Barker Weaver) who played Stu Bergman's second wife, Ellie Harper, on Search for Tomorrow; Audra Lindley (Laura Tompkins), best known as the first landlady, Helen Roper from Three's Company and its spin-off The Ropers; Millette Alexander (Gloria Saxon) who went on to play Dr. Sara McIntyre on Guiding Light; Robert Mandan (David Allen) who later played pompous and philandering stockbroker Chester Tate on Soap and the highly ineffective Colonel Fielding on the television adaptation of the movie, Private Benjamin; Barbara Berjer (Lynn Franklin) who continued soap work, most notably on As the World Turns and Guiding Light; Richard Thomas (Richard), well known as John-Boy Walton from The Waltons; Craig Huebing (Tom Jennings), later of General Hospital; Joseph Mascolo (Jack Lander), known for his roles as Stefano DiMera on Days of our Lives and Massimo Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful; John Karlen, later known as Willie on Dark Shadows; and Harvey Lacey of Cagney & Lacey; and John Colenback (Jimmy Hull) who played Henderson Forsythe's son, Dan Stewart, on As the World Turns.

The show was directed by Joseph Behar, and Don Wallace and Paul Lammers, who were producers as well, along with Eugene Barr. It was also known for a storyline dealing with the show-within-a-show performance of Madame Bovary, which heavily featured the show's villainess, Lynn Franklin.

A dispute between Wallace and Lammers with actress Julie Bovasso which ended up getting the latter fired from the show. Bovasso, who played Rose Corelli, Ben Fraser, Jr.'s wife, had a disagreement with a specific line's meaning, and she walked off the set. A line producer stepped in for her and did her roles that day. Bovasso was later fired and actress Tresa Hughes took over as Rose until the show's end in 1961.

Cancellation[edit]

The show was cancelled in 1961 because not many people felt at home with this kind of drama, which was unusual for soaps of that time. This soap was more literary than most that were on the air at that time.

As such, all the stories were wrapped up and ended happily. Ben, Sr. who had become Strathfield's mayor, had cleaned up the town of organized crime; Kass, the Fraser's lovable maid, had received a great big settlement from her late husband's estate; Lyddy had announced she was engaged; and Liz and her husband, David had achieved mutual success as writers.

External links[edit]